software & online
Atomic Learning Online Training
Atomic Learning recently added a new feature to its online training Web site, enabling educators to search for training content aligned to ISTE, Common Core, or state standards. Now teachers can find standards-aligned technology resources on emerging topics such as mobile learning. The Common Core State Standards search feature is broken down by state, then by subjects, including language arts, mathematics, science, and social studies.
Insight Education Group recently launched ADVANCEfeedback, a platform for educators to manage the entire observation and feedback process. Through live or video-based observations, the platform can be used by school and district observers or by Insight’s content area coaches to provide meaningful feedback, identify and share examples of effective teaching, and organize resources for easy access.
Be Like a Bat Playhouse Program
Wildlife Acoustics has created the Be Like a Bat Playhouse Program, designed to immerse young students in the world of a bat. The playhouse program consists of a bat house model over five feet tall, along with a K-2 curriculum that ties the playhouse into group activities. As students explore the playhouse, they experience a day in the life of a bat, from roosting and echolocation (communicating with others) to “flying” in and out of the bat house.
Califone Guide to Headset Compatibility
Califone recently published a guide to help school leaders determine what headsets can be used with iOS, Andriod and Windows devices. PARCC assessments will further integrate oral responses by requiring microphones [headsets] in 2016- 2017 for the Speaking and Listening testing session. The guide is available through Califone’s blog.
JAMF Software has introduced a new release of its flagship product Casper Suite, allowing organizations to set up Apple Mac, iPad, and iPhones without IT having to touch the devices. The software combines Apple’s powerful new enterprise service offerings with the robust functionality found in JAMF’s management platform. New features include hands-free enrollment through the Apple Device Enrollment Program (DEP), better managed application distribution with the Apple Volume Purchase Program (VPP), as well as updates to Casper Focus to provide added application control, a key feature to education environments.
ClassLink LaunchPad now enables unlimited single sign-on, called Infinite SSO. With LaunchPad’s Infinite SSO, anyone with any level of technical expertise can now create an SSO autologin and be connected to nearly any Web site resource. This allows teachers to easily select their own instructional and learning management resources to fit their instructional needs. LaunchPad’s Infinite SSO is also device-agnostic—perfect for BYOD and multiple device environments.
ClassVINCI Elementary Math
VINCI Education has launched an Elementary Math Curriculum for ClassVINCI, the company’s school solution. The game-based math series is designed to provide teachers with the content needed to support Common Core standards and features an integrated learning management platform for real-time assessment. The curriculum, sequenced to break down the Common Core requirements into small steps, includes immersive game-based content for instructional and reinforcement learning.
Classworks, the K-8 online instruction solution, has been updated to support interoperability and easily integrate into a school’s existing systems. Educators can now add their own content in Classworks for use in assessments. Classworks has also opened up its units of instruction for use on teacher Web sites and Learning Management Systems, or to be shared via email. Additionally, school districts can now add their own test items to the Classworks item bank and use them with assessments.
McGraw-Hill Education has released a version of its custom-publishing tool, Create, for the K-12 market. Create’s platform, originally developed for higher education, provides access to a library of educational resources. Users can access and sort resources by discipline or copyright year, re-arrange resources by subject or chapter, and add their own resources, such as practice sets and discussion questions. The tool allows educators to publish their own printed book or e-book by customizing content to best suit their teaching needs and their district’s needs.
EarthLink Secure WiFi
EarthLink has launched the Secure WiFi service, enabling organizations with multiple locations to easily deploy and manage secure private and public wireless networks, connect through their mobile devices and social media, and gather data for visitor analytics. The service supports mobile POS and company-owned devices as well as guest Internet access from a single Access Point (AP). Through cloud-based management, administrators can manage thousands of locations through a single Web-based portal. Installation is simple, with no IT staff or special training needed.
Edgenuity Lesson Mastery
Edgenuity’s new Lesson Mastery report highlights how online and blended learning can support teaching, offering at-a-glance access to class performance data that allows teachers to monitor, track, and personalize the learning experience for each student. The report complements Edgenuity’s comprehensive reporting suite that gives educators access to a wide variety of data on student engagement, progress, and achievement.
FuelEd Online Courses for Middle School
Fuel Education has announced a new online curriculum designed for middle school students and for school districts as they transition to an all-digital curriculum. FuelEd’s Online Courses for Middle School are available on a variety of platforms and devices, including iPad, Chromebook, and Android. The curriculum is fully aligned to the Common Core State Standards, and can be customized for online or blended learning environments. The courses integrate literacy and vocabulary development across all curricular areas, and help prepare students for the PARCC and SBAC assessments.
Gale Digital Collections
Gale, part of Cengage Learning, has released several new Gale Digital Collections products. One of the latest products, the Associated Press Collections Online, offers behind-the-scenes access to the AP corporate archives. Another new release, Indigenous Peoples: North America, is a multi-disciplinary resource that explores the political, social, and cultural history of native peoples from the 1500s to the 1900s. Gale is also migrating resources to Gale Artemis: Primary Sources, which combines Gale humanities products into one research platform.
Hooda Math Flappy Factors and 2048
Hooda Math has released educational versions of the popular games, Flappy Birds and 2048, available for free on the company’s Web site. Both games are optimized for a variety of mobile devices. In Flappy Factors, students maneuver a bird through a maze of pipes. Each pipe is labeled with an integer, and students must fly through the correct factors of a given multiple to avoid running into the pipes with incorrect answers. As students advance, the game generates a progress report that can be emailed directly to a teacher or parent. In 2048, students slide numbered tiles around the game board, adding matching tiles together in hopes of reaching the 2048 tile.
Learning Upgrade Summer School and Math Upgrade 6
Learning Upgrade is once again offering complimentary “summer school” access to its Web-based Common Core-aligned curriculum to all qualifying U.S. schools and districts. Through songs, videos, games and educational research, Learning Upgrade is designed to help students reach and exceed grade-level requirements in both math and English language arts. Learning Upgrade’s platform provides students with immediate feedback as well as additional support and remediation when needed. Once students have demonstrated mastery of a given skill, they are automatically advanced to the next lesson. The complimentary summer licenses provide users with full access to all of Learning Upgrade’s K-8 courses, including the newly released Math Upgrade 6, which supports student mastery of all 6thgrade Common Core standards for math.
Lexia Learning K-12 Assessment
Lexia Learning has partnered with the Florida Center for Reading Research (FC RR) to create a computer-adaptive, K-12 assessment program, scheduled for a Fall 2014 release. The program is designed to identify students’ needs and provide teachers with the instructional strategies necessary to address individual student skill gaps. Teachers will receive a detailed action plan for each student following the new state-level and district-level assessments.
WIN Learning has incorporated Kuder Navigator, a comprehensive online education and career planning system, as the foundation of myStrategic Compass. myStrategic Compass is part of WIN Learning’s Personalized Career Readiness System, a series of Web-based programs that help students prepare for the workplace through personalized, project-based learning and career exploration. The myStrategic Compass component offers a personalized, career-planning tool based on skill, work, and career interest. Additional system features help students identify and apply for scholarships and grants, prepare portfolios and resumes, and link to top job search engines and employer profiles.
Odysseyware has enhanced the Notes feature of its online curriculum platform. Now students and teachers can write multiple notes directly in the margins of every assignment. Teachers’ notes appear in red, while students can choose from a variety of note colors, and all notes can be printed for easy reference.
SMART Notebook 2014
SMART Technologies has released SMART Notebook 2014 collaborative learning software. New features include: Ink Editing, enabling teachers to use the new Text Pen to easily write and edit text within Notebook software to create a keyboard-free teaching experience; SMART Notebook Math software, which provides math content objects and interactive activities for geometry, algebra, calculus, and statistics for both PC and Mac platforms; SMART Response VE for seamless transition between lesson delivery and assessment; and XC Collaboration so students can send text and content from mobile devices to SMART Notebook lesson activities.
Stoneware Hosted webNetwork
Stoneware has announced a new, hosted version of webNetwork, a unified workspace for users to securely access work and personal files in the office, at home, or on the road, with a single sign-on. The hosted webNetwork is a SaaS version of the workspace, enabling users who do not have on-site IT infrastructure to host their data in secure off-site data centers and experience the benefits of a unified workspace. Stoneware has also announced the upcoming availability of webNetwork DataSafe and webNetwork Data Optimization, two powerful add-ons to enhance the delivery of resources and security. webNetwork DataSafe shields sensitive data from malware while blocking inbound attacks. webNetwork Data Optimization decreases page load times, reduces bandwidth usage and minimizes latency.
Tablet Manager 4.0
TabPilot has released Tablet Manager 4.0, offering new features for classroom control, monitoring, and management of tablets in shared-use environments. One of these features is the introduction of configuration profiles—sets of pre-configured apps, Web links, and other preferences that can be applied by teachers or administrators to groups of tablets. TabPilot 4.0 includes the framework to allow profiles to be automatically applied on a schedule.
Teachscape has expanded its Teachscape Learn Professional Learning Suite. In addition to its online courses about the Common Core State Standards (CCSS) for mathematics, the Common Core Series in Teachscape Learn now offers new video-based, self-paced courses on the CCSS for English language arts (ELA ) and literacy. This interactive series includes case studies, extensive expert commentary, and over 24 hours of course content. The courses range in length from 15 minutes to two hours and use a multimodal approach to boost educators’ knowledge about the CCSS for ELA and literacy.
Common Core Reading Practice and Assessment Apps
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) has released its new Common Core Reading Practice and Assessment apps for K-6, available through iTunes and Google Play. The collection of grade-specific tablet apps offers literacy exercises and ways to develop test-taking practice skills aligned to the Common Core standards. The app can be used in the classroom with any reading program, by groups or individuals, or at home for extra practice.
This slick DIY app features fun projects for tweens and teens that are ideal for the classroom. It includes unique ideas that appeal to a wide range of interests and allow students to showcase their creativity and instruction-writing skills; supervision required.
LightSail (www.lightsailed.com (opens in new tab))
This robust, responsive reading tool measures meaningful literacy outcomes. It offers real-time opportunities for assessment and feedback. Teacher and student dashboards offer easy-to-read feedback on students’ achievements and needs.
The latest release of MimioStudio 11.2 software features the ability to connect three mobile devices using the MimioMobile app--for free. Classrooms with a MimioStudio hardware or software license can connect up to three mobile devices via the MimioMobile app when they upgrade to the new software version. The MimioMobile app extends the functionality and phones for student collaboration, formative assessment, and desktop control.
This interactive, multimedia slideshow app engages students and provides feedback. Students become active participants in their education while teachers get feedback on student learning.
See.Touch.Learn Pro 3.0
Brain Parade has released See.Touch. Learn Pro 3.0, designed for special education, for the iPad. The update includes a redesigned interface and new features for teachers. The visual learning and assessment tool now offers student data tracking, an automatic exercise generator that simplifies the lesson creation process, and an interactive wizard that demonstrates each feature of the app.
Acer America (www.acer.com (opens in new tab)) has announced the availability of its Veriton Z2660G all-in-one (AiO) commercial desktop with a 20-inch class, LED-backlit, LCD touchscreen. The series provides ergonomic viewing, with a frame that tilts from 8 to 60 degrees and 10-point capacitive touch technology. It includes a full-HD Webcam that can rotate up to 180 degrees, and offers the ability to dual load Windows 8 Pro and Windows 7 Professional operating systems.
SMART Technologies (www.smarttech.com) has released the SMART Board 6065 interactive flat panel (IFP) for education. The 6065 IFP measures 65 inches on the diagonal, offers ultra-HD 4K resolution, and supports up to four touches simultaneously. The IFP automatically detects the difference between a finger, a pen, and an eraser, so users don’t have to interrupt the flow of a lesson to manually change modes. With the Pen Identification feature, two users can work simultaneously and independently with different colored pens or distinct tools.
Aerohive Networks (www.aerohive.com) has announced a new 802.11ac Gigabit WiFi access point (AP). The AP230 delivers full functionality with existing Power over Ethernet (PoE) infrastructure, for easy integration with existing networks. The AP230 provides high-performance aggregate data rates up to 1300 Mbps in 5-GHz band, and eliminates the need for an additional controller appliance.
Hitachi America (www.hitachi-america.us) has released the Professional Series CP-WU13K DLP projector, a 3G SDI-ready model that offers 13,000 lumens brightness. The CP-WU13K is 3D-ready, incorporates four digital inputs, and features 3-chip DLP technology. A specialized application also offers geometric correction, making projection possible on spherical surfaces and surfaces with corners, as well as conventional flat screens.
Ricoh Americas Corporation (www.ricoh-usa.com) unveiled an ultra short-throw projection system that makes whiteboards interactive. Presenters can display, underline, highlight, annotate, capture, and share projected images that previously would have disappeared when the presentation ended. With an optional upgrade to Luidia eBeam software, users can bring videos, animations, graphics, and PowerPoint slides into the displayed image and save them, along with markups, as Microsoft PowerPoint presentations. eBeam also enables users to collaborate globally via the Internet, enabling markup of the same presentation.
Cannon T4 Inc. (www.cannontech.co.za) has announced a new range of smart power management solutions that boost the efficiency of data centers while providing monitoring and control of PDU s. Up to 16 PDU s can be chained together, making it possible to monitor and control hundreds of individual sockets using one secure, Web-based, graphical management interface. Each PDU features a 1.8-inch, color LCD display, allowing easily readable information for the strip, such as the current, voltage, power, energy consumption (kWh), power factor, humidity, and temperature.
Solidoodle (www.solidoodle.com/education) has created Solidoodle U, a comprehensive program for teachers that enables them to bring 3D printing into the classroom, with affordable education packages and free materials. Solidoodle will offer two education packages for its 3rd- and 4th-generation models, its most popular 3D printers. The Solidoodle 4 package includes the company’s newest 3D printer, featuring a new extruder design with two 2-lb spools of filament. The Solidoodle 3 package includes Solidoodle’s open-design printer with one 2-lbs spool of filament. Solidoodle U also offers educators free access to its growing online curriculum library and will utilize the company’s file-sharing Web site to host 3D models and allow educators to share their own corresponding lesson plans with the educational community.
Crestron (www.crestron.com) has released DigitalMedia, an end-to-end 4K distribution system. With DigitalMedia, organizations can distribute 4K and other resolutions, such as 2560x1440 output from Apple laptops, that require more signal bandwidth than switchers designed for 1080p and 2K distribution can provide. The new DigitalMedia products include the DMC-4K-HD input card, Type 8 DMCO output cards, DM-RMC-4K- 100-C DM Receiver, and HD-RX3-C Receiver. River Run Computers (www.river-run.com) has upgraded its BOSS 2.0 (Backup and Offsite Storage Solution) to BOSS 3.0. The latest version automatically backs up data to three separate locations, and simplifies migrations to larger units, as an organization’s data grows. BOSS 3.0 includes retention in the cloud for one year, with the option of extending for up to seven years. The hardware has been upgraded to include dual Intel Xeon E5 six core processors and up to 96 GBs of RAM.
Casio (www.casio.com) has introduced the ClassPad fx-CP400 graphing calculator, offering a variety of tools for high school and college math courses. The calculator’s high-resolution, 4.8-inch, touch-panel LCD can display equations and graphs simultaneously. The fx-CP400 can also switch from a vertical view to a horizontal view, for displaying long mathematical formulas on a single line.
InFocus Corporation (www.infocus.com) has added two series of bright projectors to its existing lineup of classroom models: the interactivity-enabled IN2120a series (pictured) and the IN120STa short-throw series. The IN2120a series, consisting of the IN2124a and IN2126a, features 3,500-lumens brightness. The two projectors are different only in their native resolutions, which are XGA (1024x768) and WXGA (1280x800), respectively. The IN120STa series, made up of the IN124STa and the IN126STa, features 3,300-lumens brightness but delivers the picture at a much shorter distance from the screen. The IN124STa has native XGA resolution with a 0.6 short throw, while the IN126STa has native WXGA with 0.48 short throw.
D-Link Systems Inc. (www.dlink.com) introduces two new IP surveillance dome cameras, the HD Mini Dome Network Camera (DCS-6004L) and the Full HD Mini Pan and Tilt Dome Network Camera (DCS-5615 (pictured)). The DCS-6004L is a mydlink-enabled camera featuring Power over Ethernet (PoE) and a compact form factor, making it ideal for monitoring areas that are hard to reach or require discreet surveillance. The DCS-5615 features high-definition (Full 1080p HD) megapixel resolution with 360-degree pan and 80-degree tilt control.
Kensington’s (www.kensington.com (opens in new tab)) new Charge & Sync Cabinet lets schools and libraries store and charge up to 10 tablets simultaneously. The updated design features wider bays to accommodate storing and charging tablets kept in protective rugged cases, like the company’s BlackBelt or SafeGrip series of cases. The cabinet takes up little space, eliminating the need to move storage carts between classrooms.